Loveland businesses form pact to fight COVID restrictions

Coronavirus

LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Larimer County has implemented new COVID restrictions due to the rising level of coronavirus cases. But a group of businesses is vowing to defy those orders, saying they will cause them to shut their doors for good.

In Loveland, a pact of breweries, bars and restaurants are vowing to continue serving customers indoors despite state orders prohibiting them from doing so starting Tuesday.

“We worked tirelessly. We’ve spent thousands of dollars making all the necessary updates and changes to make sure our business is safe for our employees and customers,” said Grimm Brothers Brewhouse co-owner Morgan Harrington.

The tighter restrictions go into effect as Larimer County’s COVID level hits “Red” on the state’s dial.

Under current orders, restaurants and bars are still allowed to serve delivery and takeout.

However, businesses are fighting back and signing a letter saying that the new restrictions from Larimer County are unfairly weighted and will lead to many of the signers going out of business. 

“We just can’t shut down businesses and assume that this is going to blanket fix everything. We’ve got employees that are in dire need of jobs,” Harrington added.

In Larimer County, 216 people tested posittive for COVID just in a 24-hour period this week — an indicator the virus requires more restrictions, according to the county.

Businesses in Loveland aren’t the only ones fighting the restrictions.

A group of restaurants and bars in Denver unsuccessfully sued the state saying the orders were unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis said the businesses must abide by state laws.

“Any type of business that violates a health order — whether its hepatitis,  salmonella or COVID –could lose their license to operate and lose their liquor license. That would be a devastating outcome for many small businesses,” the governor said.

The Loveland businesses say they are hoping to have a meeting with county health officials to come up with a plan that will help them survive. They stress their defiance is not a political move and that they operate with safe environments.

The question now is whether officials will suspend their licenses.

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